New aerial images of Beijing’s manmade islands in the South China Sea provide greater detail about their infrastructure and defenses

New, highly detailed images of the artificial islands China has built in the South China Sea have emerged. They show the intricacies of the radar installations, airfields, and naval gun emplacements, among buildings and other structures, located there.

Captured by photographer Ezra Acayan flying in an aircraft near the man-made fortresses in the Spratly Islands, the images are some of the most detailed yet available of what China is up to there and they give a totally new perspective compared to the daily satellite images we see of these locations.

Close-ups of one island in Cuarteron Reef show naval gun emplacements on a series of towers of increasing height, backed by a radar gunnery director. Atop the battlement-like setup is a large radome. The radar’s elevated position would give it a better line of sight over the horizon.

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